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Old 04-27-2019, 10:15 AM   #15
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Hey thanks for contributing.
Yes 100% is 14.65V I set my Xantrex to 14.5v for now. I will make a summary of all the settings in the end because the Temp comp function needs to be disabled as well.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r3meyer View Post
I have done 2 coaches with Lipo. One I built the packs, the other was for a friend (less tech savy) so we went with Renogy.

Both coaches have Morningstar solar controllers set to 14.2 with no float or equalization. Cut off at 14.5. I don't remember what we have the LVD' set to. One had Xantrax that we were able to change the charge settings for. The other had a separate converter and and inverter.

The built pack is 4 years old. Works extremely well. Why anyone would go with any other setup is beyond me. I just picked up a new to me coach and will be doing the same setup. 400amp hour pack with all the goodies.
When you say “Why anyone would go with any other set up is beyond me.” Are you suggesting everyone build their own batteries and BMS, or use Lithium batteries rather than LA/AGM?
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by RVPioneer View Post
When you say “Why anyone would go with any other set up is beyond me.” Are you suggesting everyone build their own batteries and BMS, or use Lithium batteries rather than LA/AGM?
Any setup other than Lithium.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:10 PM   #18
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Clean up and additional equipment install

So today I mounted the Victron 712 shunt, solar charge controller, cut off switch and main disconnect.
I disconnected the existing small PWM charge controller above the main electrical panel and spliced the solar panel wire to the battery wire so that I now have the solar wire all the way to the batter bay. And that is where the trouble started.
The wires were placed into something else than the battery ... in that moment I realized that I was sending full solar power so about 20V to something. I disconnected the panel on the roof.
After about an hour of digging on a roller board under the RV I was finally able to identify the wire. Rubbing the dirt of the letters printed on the wire appeared ... REEFER ... what ???
So with everything off I covered the solar panel about half and turned the fridge on ... yup sure enough it ran.
So about yet another hour later I had a plan how to reconnect the fridge back the way it needs to be and have my solar wire correct.
Some of the 2/0 wire I will have to replace as the end connections are soldered on. I own a hydraulic crimping tool so I can easily do them right.
In the picture next to the charge controller you see a 65A disconnect that i will have to change out. I forgot about the alternator charging I am sure it’s well above 65A. So I ordered a 220A unit today the same as on the left side in the picture. One is for the low voltage cut off and is controlled by the BMV 712 and the other monitors the high cut off and disconnects the charging circuits.
Tomorrow I will try to close off the bay a bit better and install a floor that closes all the holes in the bottom.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine06 View Post
So today I mounted the Victron 712 shunt, solar charge controller, cut off switch and main disconnect.
I disconnected the existing small PWM charge controller above the main electrical panel and spliced the solar panel wire to the battery wire so that I now have the solar wire all the way to the batter bay. And that is where the trouble started.
The wires were placed into something else than the battery ... in that moment I realized that I was sending full solar power so about 20V to something. I disconnected the panel on the roof.
After about an hour of digging on a roller board under the RV I was finally able to identify the wire. Rubbing the dirt of the letters printed on the wire appeared ... REEFER ... what ???
So with everything off I covered the solar panel about half and turned the fridge on ... yup sure enough it ran.
So about yet another hour later I had a plan how to reconnect the fridge back the way it needs to be and have my solar wire correct.
Some of the 2/0 wire I will have to replace as the end connections are soldered on. I own a hydraulic crimping tool so I can easily do them right.
In the picture next to the charge controller you see a 65A disconnect that i will have to change out. I forgot about the alternator charging I am sure it’s well above 65A. So I ordered a 220A unit today the same as on the left side in the picture. One is for the low voltage cut off and is controlled by the BMV 712 and the other monitors the high cut off and disconnects the charging circuits.
Tomorrow I will try to close off the bay a bit better and install a floor that closes all the holes in the bottom.
Thanks for the update. I for one am following your progress closely.
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:12 AM   #20
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First of all I think that looks awesome Alpine 06.....really like what you have done!!

So I too am thinking of upgrading to Lithium as we really like to get "Off the grid".....and I don't mean only during the Quartzsite rally

Let me start by saying that I just added (4) 330AH AGM batteries last year replacing the existing (4) GC2s......my battery tray only accommodates 4 + 2, and I hope to use these for a couple of years as Lithium continues to become more mainstream and as a result lower in cost.

I've been designing the system in my head and am thinking I'll proceed in the following manner:
  • Add 800W of Rooftop Solar (Hightec 200W Panels) with room for 800W more in the future.
  • Run wiring into existing wiring center inside coach at bottom of bedroom dresser (Factory inverter location)
  • Add Victron 150/60 Solar Controller (will need 2nd if I add 800W more) and wire to the existing battery bank
  • Upgrade inverter to Victron 12/3000/125 hybrid inverter (Provides PSW and ability to channel excess production of solar to AC devices)
  • Tie in existing Victron 712 BM with Victron GX Monitor and Control Units (Allows monitoring of all systems and batteries via Bluetooth or remotely through WiFi)
PHASE 2
  • Replace AGM Batteries with 400 - 600AH of lithium batteries
For phase 2; I'll move the batteries inside the coach from the exterior battery area that was designed to accommodate Flooded Lead Acid batteries and their inherent "Gassing" to a location next to the inverter in the bottom of the bedroom dresser. I'll need to eliminate one of the smaller drawers in the bottom but will have room for (2) 8D size batteries. This will move the batteries even closer to the inverter which will eliminate some line loss and will keep them in a more climate controlled environment which is even more critical for Lithium.

This is ambitious for sure and looks like about $4K for everything but the batteries which today would be about $3.5K - $5K for drop-in replacements with on-board BMS.......still evaluating these as I have time to figure it out.

Something like this:
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
First of all I think that looks awesome Alpine 06.....really like what you have done!!

So I too am thinking of upgrading to Lithium as we really like to get "Off the grid".....and I don't mean only during the Quartzsite rally

Let me start by saying that I just added (4) 330AH AGM batteries last year replacing the existing (4) GC2s......my battery tray only accommodates 4 + 2, and I hope to use these for a couple of years as Lithium continues to become more mainstream and as a result lower in cost.

I've been designing the system in my head and am thinking I'll proceed in the following manner:
  • Add 800W of Rooftop Solar (Hightec 200W Panels) with room for 800W more in the future.
  • Run wiring into existing wiring center inside coach at bottom of bedroom dresser (Factory inverter location)
  • Add Victron 150/60 Solar Controller (will need 2nd if I add 800W more) and wire to the existing battery bank
  • Upgrade inverter to Victron 12/3000/125 hybrid inverter (Provides PSW and ability to channel excess production of solar to AC devices)
  • Tie in existing Victron 712 BM with Victron GX Monitor and Control Units (Allows monitoring of all systems and batteries via Bluetooth or remotely through WiFi)
PHASE 2
  • Replace AGM Batteries with 400 - 600AH of lithium batteries
For phase 2; I'll move the batteries inside the coach from the exterior battery area that was designed to accommodate Flooded Lead Acid batteries and their inherent "Gassing" to a location next to the inverter in the bottom of the bedroom dresser. I'll need to eliminate one of the smaller drawers in the bottom but will have room for (2) 8D size batteries. This will move the batteries even closer to the inverter which will eliminate some line loss and will keep them in a more climate controlled environment which is even more critical for Lithium.

This is ambitious for sure and looks like about $4K for everything but the batteries which today would be about $3.5K - $5K for drop-in replacements with on-board BMS.......still evaluating these as I have time to figure it out.

Something like this:
Paul,
I think your plan sounds solid. Your amount of Solar might be a bit much for your battery but it would give you good performance on days with less sun. I am a bit challenged for roof top space ... the bat antenna really needs to go.
Also to move the batteries to the basement compartment is a good thought, if you use the coach you have heat there already.
The 712 can turn off the charging based on temperature but I think the charge controller that you are going for can too. A hybrid solution is very nice and if I would replace mine I would go with a 24v unit and built the battery Bank in 24V.
Victron makes good solid products and I like the Bluetooth option so you can mount components a bit more remote.
The cost adds up quickly for items like ring terminals that I always seem to have the wrong one on hand, you definitely want a hydraulic crimping tool and good thick marine grade shrink tubing. It will make your install look so much nicer if you can run the right wire length. At this moment I still need to change out some 4/0 and 2/0 wire that I do not like the way the ends are made ... but at this very moment I just like to get everything installed.
For the majority of people I think a drop in Lithium is the way to go. But as we all know pricy ...
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:26 PM   #22
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I love the concept. I just don’t know that the juice is worth the squeeze in my situation. We are running the AC (we camp between VA and TX, and normally during the summer) almost all the time, so the generator is rolling or we are plugged in at a campground. Dash AC doesn’t work, but I travel with my son on the couch, so I have to run a roof AC anyways.

Until a set up exists that I could truly run at least 1 AC off of batteries, just don’t think it would be cost beneficial for us.

With that said, I love following this and seeing what you guys that are much smarter than me come up with for upgrades.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:13 PM   #23
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Wow! You have had to do a whole lot more work than I would have expected. I currently have 400w solar feeding 4 large lead acid cart batteries and it works great. I planned to go to Lithium when I get a new coach next year to save room and weight but I have some studying to do first I see.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamboneTHW View Post
I love the concept. I just don’t know that the juice is worth the squeeze in my situation. We are running the AC (we camp between VA and TX, and normally during the summer) almost all the time, so the generator is rolling or we are plugged in at a campground. Dash AC doesn’t work, but I travel with my son on the couch, so I have to run a roof AC anyways.

Until a set up exists that I could truly run at least 1 AC off of batteries, just don’t think it would be cost beneficial for us.

With that said, I love following this and seeing what you guys that are much smarter than me come up with for upgrades.


HamboneTHW,
I am 100% with you on the AC and generator. If one would install such system I think you can buy a new diesel Onan for your rig and wear it out.
This is a new to me Motorhome and I have some knowledge around Lithium batteries and also the performance of my 6V golf cart batteries was not great. Even though relatively new, just 18 month old, the dealership let them go and I had to equalize them ... several times just so they accept a decent charge.
So I was motivated to do the installation and I got a really good deal on my batteries directly out of China.

But if you look at AMSolar you will find a 400Ah system with no solar panels for $5,400 installed. That is a good amount of money for a relatively small system.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahoona View Post
Wow! You have had to do a whole lot more work than I would have expected. I currently have 400w solar feeding 4 large lead acid cart batteries and it works great. I planned to go to Lithium when I get a new coach next year to save room and weight but I have some studying to do first I see.


It is a progression in finding out the details. If you would throw all the information at me that I learned over the last month I would probably say: Ahhhh .... I need another beer. Lol
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:20 PM   #26
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Almost complete

The goal for today was to get the compartment a bit more closed up and I am happy as I got a lot more done than that.
So looking at the newly painted floor and all the holes I came up with the solution to place some caulk around every hole and put a 1/4” foam over that. On top of that I placed a 1/4” polypropylene sheet. I had to cut this into 2 pieces to install it because of the support brace going from the frond bottom ledge to the back wall.
This was absolutely not necessary but I have stumbled over that sheet of plastic several times in my workshop so now it has a purpose.

Next I had to come up with something to hold the battery in place. The cells I bought are made with an Aluminum outer case for EV use instead of most made of plastic. I am sure they are still not as sturdy as a regular car battery. So to keep it from sliding around I made a tray that I wanted to fasten down to the floor.
So that the batteries cannot hop out of that tray I made a lid that will be held on the traditional way with threaded rod. I used a leftover piece of Acetal that I had on hand. It is very good material for machining something out of and extremely durable.

Setting the batteries in place I realized I needed a different bus bar than the type that I oredered with the batteries (so for the parallel connection) I could not find one online with the right dimension.
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:22 PM   #27
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Oops looks like the same foto uploaded several times
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:51 PM   #28
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Bus Bar

So AWG 2/0 wire has a cross section of 67 mm2 the usabale diameter of the post to connect something is 21mm. I had a sheet of copper on hand that measures 1.1mm so 3 stacked bus bars would give me 69mm2.
I cut them out cleaned them thorough and used some dielectric grease before I heat shrinked them together. Now that copper is not as good quality as a high stranded wire as it is not as pure but will do for the current that I am expecting my system to deliver and is bigger in cross section than the original one.
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